Congress leader Rahul Gandhi welcomed the financial package announced by the Centre on Thursday, saying it was the first step in the right direction.
The comments come after the government unveiled a Rs 1.70-lakh-crore economic package involving free food grain and cooking gas to the poor for the next three months, one-time doles to women and poor senior citizens, higher wages to workers and measures to boost liquidity of employees, as it looked to contain the impact of unprecedented nationwide lockdown due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"The Govt announcement today of a financial assistance package, is the first step in the right direction," Gandhi tweeted. "India owes a debt to its farmers, daily wage earners, labourers, women & the elderly who are bearing the brunt of the ongoing lockdown."
The Congress has been demanding an economic package in view of the coronavirus spread and the subsequent lockdown. On Thursday, party interim president Sonia Gandhi wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding the implementation of its proposed Nyay scheme and aid for the health workers.
The Finance Minister announced an economic relief package of Rs 1.7 lakh crore for the poor and migrant workers under the Prime Minister Gareeb Kalyan Yojana.
The package focuses on providing food and money to the poor to help them overcome the problems in the wake of the COVID-19 spread and the lockdown.
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday also announced that doctors, paramedics, nurses, 'Asha' workers, cleaning workers involved in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and treating affected patients would be extended a medical insurance cover of Rs 50 lakh each.
Addressing the media here, Sitharaman said that the scheme will help 20 lakh health professionals and workers across the country, in case they want to avail of it.
(With inputs grom agency)